Microsoft releases dev software to students

DreamSparkIn their journey to get everyone hooked on their dev tools, Microsoft has rolled out DreamSpark, a site where students can download:

  • Visual Studio 2008
  • Expression Studio
  • Windows Server 2003
  • XNA Game Studio 2.0
  • These products are great for folks who are just starting out in development and design. They are free to students on a 12 month renewable basis for as long as you are a student.

    **Update: if your school isn’t in the preexisting list you can go through JourneyEd to verify student status as well.

    Globe Glider – Try some geo-browsing

    Our reader Ed always sends us great links to cool applications and projects, and Globe Glider is another great find. According to the site, it’s a “geo-browser” with an interface that allows users to search and browse by location. Both a Google Maps and Virtual Earth interface are available (you can also use it in Google Earth), with the top half of the browser window given over to a larger view of one of the web mapping apps, while the other is still available in a smaller frame in the lower left corner. If you want to switch the views, there’s a button to flip the two. What the heart of Globe Glider is, though, is its linkages to other sites and resources that are all linked to the locations you are browsing in the mapping interface. For example, I used a Virtual Earth 3D interface in the upper window to navigate to northern Wisconsin, and typed hotels into the Google Local search bar, which gave me results for the nearest hotels to the location. I could then click on the GeoURL tab and see websites from IP addresses nearby, Flickr for geotagged photos, and even weather (a ridiculously cold -27F). Globe Glider brings together tools from Google, Microsoft, Wikipedia, Flickr and others to create a one-stop shop that gives a great example of how location-based search can really change the way we navigate the Web and find information.

    Nav N Go’s 3D GPS mapping software in action

    MobileMag links to a short YouTube video of Nav N Go’s 3D GPS software in action, which is being made available to manufacturers for use in devices that will be sold in the US. The software has its owns graphics engine, shows terrain, road elevation, and buildings, and can show over 10 miles in one view. Nav N Go software has been available on devices in Europe, including personal navigation devices like the Mio C620 and will be included on Sony PSP handheld gaming devices sold in Europe beginning in March.

    According to Nav N Go’s press release for CES,Ingram Micro will be launching a version of their new V7 Portable Navigation Devices that will include Nav N Go iGO 8 and HP will have the software on its iPAQ Travel Companion. No word yet on whether Nav N Go software will make the move to in-car navigation devices, although I have to say that could get pretty distracting watching the lovely virtual 3D landscape while you’re supposed to be driving through the actual 3D landscape.

    MacHeist – Lots of Mac software goodness

    If you are a Mac user you can get 11 great software packages for only $49. I am always a little wary of these bundles, since the software creators miss out on some sales at full price, but they probably make up for it in volume. Either way, I am getting it for 1password and iStopMotion (for VSTV of course) but all of the software is great. If they sell enough to include SnapZ Pro and Pixelmator it will make it doubly worth it. I have been using PixelMator instead of PhotoShop on PC for at least 2 months now.

    MacHeist » Bundle

    3D Nature Holiday Sale

    VNSWe had a great interview with Chris Hanson of 3D Nature this week, but we aren’t going to post it until after all of the holiday travel and our year in review episode. In the interview Chris pointed out the great sale they are running on the GIS friendly Visual Nature Studio 2. I have been using their World Construction Set, and more recently VNS, since the late 1990s and am a huge fan. I actually received my first literal ooh and ahhs during a presentation where I was showing some reconstructions of prehistoric landscapes made with WCS. Anyway…great software at a great price for the holidays.


    Our good buddy Rick Lawson over at ESRI sent us all a lovely little YouTube video/song – G-I-Yes. The folks down in Austin put this together for GIS Day it it is darn amusing. At our day job, we’ve had a server going wonky for the last few weeks, so I found the middle part particularly pertinent. Thanks Rick!


    RapidoMapSome of you may recall me blogging about Magrathea over the summer, a nice little georeferencing tool for your desktop documents on Mac which used actual Lat/Long as opposed to image coordinates. Apparently over the summer the software was picked up by app4mac and has been renamed RapidoMap. It remains freeware and but other than a few interface changes and being able to switch between aerial and street backdrops, the software remains pretty much the same. It still offers Flickr uploads for your referenced photos and allows you to search your desktop files by location, which can actually be useful if you travel a lot and your looking for a picture taken at a certain location. All-in-all I still recommend that folks check out this handy little app on the mac.

    RapidoMap from

    Pixelmator and Core Location

    Ed mentioned Pixelmator a while back as a great new Mac-only image editor. It offers most of the tools that the normal Photoshop user uses.

    But the impressive thing isn’t Pixelmator itself, it’s the fact that it is built using technology that is built into the OS, Core Image, so that many of the tools in the software are simple adds from the MacOS X Developers Tools. In addition to Core Image and Core Animation and Core Audio, all of which get a boost in a week when 10.5 is released. With these tools built in to Mac OS X, which makes developers lives easier, how long will we have to wait for Core Location services. Open Source is great, but what happens when geocoding, routing, projection and other common GIS functions are made available as prebuilt libraries directly in the OS. More geospatial tools and innovation that’s what…so write your local linux programmer, send Steve Jobs a happy thought, or just get Microsoft to incorporate MapPoint and VE technologies into a version of Windows that doesn’t frighten everyone and wait for the location based fun to begin.